Articles: Press Release
Barteau and Roenick Crowned 2008 USEF National Champions on the Second
Day of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions;
USEF Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Team in Dressage Continues as
Peters wins Grand Prix Special
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2008
By Joanie Morris
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Overnight leader Steffen Peters returned to
the Oaks Blenheim ring with Ravel in the USEF National Grand Prix
Dressage Championship and the USEF Selection Trial for Dressage, and
made it quite clear that he was not going to relinquish his lead.
Owned by Aikiko Yamazaki, Ravel, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding
took some of the much more experienced horses to task and never looked
in danger of making a mistake. The elegant combination looked relaxed
throughout the test with excellent changes and powerful extensions. They
finished with a score of 75.240%
"He's so ready to work and giving 100% all the time," said Peters.
"After the last piaffe on the center line I got a little choked up. I
don't even think that this is quite where he maxed out. He is the
kindest horse, it's unbelievable."
Peters was also fifth riding Yamazaki's other horse, 17-year-old
Lombardi 11. Lombardi put in an unscripted move in one of the piaffes,
demonstrating how good he was feeling.
"Lombardi is simply a goofball," said Peters who lives in San Diego, CA.
"He loves to go out there and do something funny, I don't think it is
resistance. He's a very playful horse. When he's in that mood that's
just the way he is, I accept that. They aren't machines and they are
allowed to be horses. Once in awhile those things happen."
Hailey, ID rider Debbie McDonald recovered from a disappointing test on
her first horse Felix, to put in a fantastic second place effort on the
legendary 17-year-old Hanoverian mare, Brentina. Owned by Peggy Thomas,
Brentina, who returned to major competition earlier this year after a
hiatus in 2007, continued to show her class and experience. The pair was
second after the first day and improved her score in the Grand Prix
Special finishing on 74.12%.
"I did a little bit this morning with her to gauge her energy level,"
said McDonald. "But she had a lot of energy this morning. I was very
happy. I felt like I was a little less conservative. She just felt
really right on my aids and energetic. For what I want from her right
now I couldn't ask for more. I'm extremely happy."
Brentina's test was highlighted by excellent piaffe, passage and
beautiful changes. Without any mistakes, McDonald was obviously thrilled
with the mare's performance. The pair was part of the last U.S. Olympic
Team which won a bronze medal in Athens in 2004.
"My rides with Brentina at this point are really quite emotional as she
will retire next year so I can pretty much count the rides I have left
on her," said McDonald. "It is really quite emotional for me."
Courtney King-Dye of New Milford, CT rode a convincing test on her
rising star Harmony's Mythilus. Fourth after the first day of
competition. King-Dye and Mythilus had a beautiful test but went off
course in one of the final movement to finish third on a score of
"It's so similar to the Grand Prix test, which is the test we usually
ride," said King-Dye explaining her mistake. "I've only ridden two
Specials on Myth. And I just went for the extension in the wrong the
The quality of Mythilus' test was improved from the first day and
King-Dye felt that she had more to work with.
"Yesterday the judges said I needed to let his neck out more and I hear
that a lot with this horse," said King-Dye. "I just hadn't gotten back
to that point with him. Today he was already a little better and I could
let his neck out more, he stayed on my seat and I could take more risk.
Like I said coming in, I feel like Myth is on an upward turn. I've been
thrilled with him."
King-Dye and her beloved veteran Idocus started off the afternoon
activities with a much improved effort from Saturday's test which left
them in fifth place overnight. Idocus, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood
stallion owned by Christine McCarthy, was first in the ring and put in a
stellar performance which set the standard for many improved
performances in the Grand Prix Special Test. With a score of 70.20% they
lie fifth halfway through the USEF Selection Trials and the National
Grand Prix Championship.
"I felt better about the way that I handled it," said King-Dye about
Idocus' improvement. "He did his job in the show ring. For me it is a
big victory for me to be able to put the pressure on him. But he took it
and he delivered."
The USEF National Grand Prix Championship and USEF selection Trial for
Dressage continues next Saturday at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF
Dressage Festival of Champions.
Barteau Defends National Young Rider Dressage Championship with
Twelve Young Riders went to task on the second and final day of the USEF
National Young Rider Dressage Championship and Kassie Barteau held onto
her lead with an excellent test on Gabriella. She made the trip from
Gilberts, Illinois to California a winning one.
"Gabriella was ranked first in the country and even though it was a long
drive I wanted her to have the chance to win the title again," said
Barteau. "I just love riding her every day."
Barteau rode Gabriella first after the break and improved on yesterday's
winning effort to take the Championship with a score of 69.35% in the
Prix St. Georges Test.
"I'm just really proud of her," said an emotional Barteau after her test
with her beloved mare. "In the warm up she was good but I think she was
the best she's been in the last five years. I'm just very proud of her.
It was the most clean and forward test she's ever done. She's usually a
little laid back and lazy so this was new for her today."
The 16-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Robert Oury, put in a polished
effort to secure the title. Barteau was very busy with three horses in
the class, and also finished fifth with Raymeister and seventh with
"They are all owned by different clients and they are all very
different," said Barteau. "I just figured I would give them all the
chance. It's beautiful here and it is very well run. To ride in the same
arena as the Olympians is inspiring."
Laura Noyes, who lay second after the first day, put in a beautiful test
for a score of 67.200%, which contributed to a two-day average of
66.118%, The 21-year-old Ohio Wesleyan University college student
continued to make the long trip from Delaware, OH worth the effort with
her 13-year-old Trakehner gelding Synchro.
Over the last five years, Noyes and Synchro have come up through the
ranks from first level together.
"He was much more relaxed in the ring and more consistently through
today," said Noyes. "He can be great and he can be terrible. You never
know what you're going to get but it was an improvement from yesterday.
He was great, I'm happy."
Consistency paid off for the third place finisher Chelsea Seburn and her
13-year-old Rhinelander gelding Rolex. From Greenleaf, ID, Seburn was
very proud of her horse with whom she represented the U.S. at the 2007
FEI World Cup Dressage for Young Riders.
"I thought he was good today," said Seburn. "He's such a good horse, he
always wants to make you happy. Never since I've had him has he said no.
I was really happy with him."
Barteau will try to score another National Championship next weekend
when she rides Liberty in the National Young Adult "Brentina Cup"
Dressage Championship. That Championship gets underway on Friday, June
Junior Rider Roenick First USEF National Dressage Champion to be Crowned
The USEF National Junior Dressage Championship got the morning started,
and the Individual Test proved more challenging than the team test,
including difficult canter serpentine work and a number of flying
changes. Three-tenths of a percent separated Mackinzie Pooley and Brandi
Roenick after Saturday's class and both put in16-year-old professional
efforts again on Sunday. But by the end of the morning, Roenick
prevailed as the most consistent of the group with a two-day average of
"We are connected when I sit in the saddle," said Roenick. "I know how
to loosen her up when she gets tense. It's special to know that you have
a really deep connection with your horses.
"I'm feeling really, really good. I feel confident for the NAJC in
Colorado. She put a lot of effort in today. I'm really proud of her.
She's not the easiest to ride, you need to know her well. I've only been
riding her since March of 2007."
Second after the first day of competition, Roenick and her chestnut
mare Pretty Lady made the difficult FEI Junior Test look easy. They put
in an excellent performance highlighted by quality changes and very
obedient transitions. The mare broke to canter in the first extended
trot which was the only blemish in a lovely test which scored 68.15%
"Even with the break in the extended trot I'm happier with my ride
today. It's a better test, it has harder movements in it," said Roenick.
Two days of consistency prevailed and Roenick took home her first USEF
Junior National Dressage Championship.
"I wasn't expecting to come here until about a week before the show and
I saw that I was in the top 12," said Roenick. "I was really excited to
come here. Coming in ranked first it made me more nervous. But I feel
like it is a blessing to be here."
The 13-year-old Scottsdale, AZ rider has high hopes to continue through
the ranks with the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. She rides with her
mother, Tracey Roenick and Debbie McDonald.
The leaders after Saturday's competition, Mackinzie Pooley and Jonkara
rode last of the nine Juniors which made for an exciting finish. The
mare was relaxed produced beautiful changes and canter extensions, but
Pooley admitted she never knows exactly what to expect from her mare.
"My test wasn't as good (as yesterday). I lost a lot of impulsion," said
Pooley. "It was a different day today and things went differently but
the canter work was really good. We've tried everything to make her more
consistent. I know her much better than last year but she usually warms
up really well and its not until you take all the stuff off when the
horse before you is in the ring and she either changes or stays the
The 15-year-old Californian scored 66.405% for a two-day average of
67.350% and the Reserve National Championship.
Third in Sunday's portion of the competition was Ashlyn DeGroot and
17-year-old Dutch Warmblood Jasper. The pair had a lovely test, despite
an unscheduled flying change toward the end of their ride. They scored
65.500% in Sunday's portion of the competition to move up into the third
position overall on a two day score of 64.450%.
Tickets are still available for next weekend's finale in which champions
will be crowned in the following Championships: The Brentina Cup,
Intermediaire I and the Grand Prix and Selection Trials. After the
conclusion of the competition horse/rider combinations will be named to
the short list for the U.S. Olympic Team in Dressage. For ticket
information, complete results and live scoring please see:
for more information
please contact USEF High Performance Communications Manager Joanie
Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.